Yes, this is me with Avi, at a Scholastic Book Fair Preview event at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Not only is he a wonderful writer, but a nice guy and multi-talented too. He took on the voices of some his characters and presented excerpts from his books to a spellbound audience. Very fun. And no, Avi is not his real name, but a nickname his sister gave him when they were kids.
I drive home from events like this, amazed that I get to hang out with such talented folks like Elissa Hayden Guest (Iris and Walter easy readers), Elizabeth Shreeve (Hector Fuller chapter book series), Elaine Russell (Martin McMillan and the Lost Inca City) , and Lynn Hazen (Buzz Bumble to the Rescue and Mermaid Margaret Mary). We met for lunch at Green’s before the event. Lynn is a PR guru. Notice she’d holding both her books in this photo op while I just have Little Bo Peep Can’t Get To Sleep ? Very smart! I’m proud to say that Elaine, Lynn and I are Aggies, alumni of the University of California at Davis. If you’re going to UCD’s annual Picnic Day on April 22, look for us and other Aggie children’s authors.
I have truly been on the move lately–to school visits all over, meeting wonderful students and staff. At left are my friends at Main Avenue School in Saramento, CA. At right are my pals Noah and Nicole Mackes from Edna Batey Elementary, also in Sacto. Thanks to all of you who have sent such creative letters and cards too! Which reminds me. If you can read this blog, how about doing something random today: Thank a teacher !
Teachers are on the move every single day, in the trenches, encouraging our kids to do their personal best–despite standardized tests–and I’m guessing there was/is one who has influenced your life. One of the teachers in my life was my 7th grade English teacher, Mrs. Uhrig, who had us write in journals (gasp), the very same ones I share at my school visits, with such inspiring entries as "Help! I forgot my book!" So I guess it’s my turn to say Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mrs. Uhrig!!!
O.K. Where was I? On the move–at Stoneridge Elementary and Sierra Gardens (Roseville,CA), Greenhills Elementary (Granite Bay, CA), The Learning Express and Border’s (Sacramento), Books N’ Bears (El Dorado, CA), Miller’s Hill Middle School and Latrobe Elementary (my old stomping grounds in Shingle Springs, CA), Charter Home Study (Placerville,CA), Scholastic Book Fair workshops in Sacramento and Livermore, and Hayes Elementary (San Jose, CA). 54 school visits last year and my calendar is filled with more! And get this–one of the teachers sent me this photo of her late husband and his brother connecting his chicken pox ! ( Don’t try this at home!)
What’s next? Tomorrow I head to an SCBWI conference at Asilomar. Next week I’m at schools in the San Diego/Chula Vista area and then on to Arizona. But coming soon to a blog near you (and hopefully it won’t take me another four months…): photos of my trip to NYC–narrowly missing the snow storm of the decade–and a visit with my editor at Atheneum after the New York SCBWI gathering. (What’s SCBWI you ask? Check out www.scbwi.org today–after you thank that teacher…) Meanwhile, it’s time to PBIC, before I move on…